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Early Dust Formation and a Massive Progenitor for SN 2011ja?

  • Andrews, J. E.
  • Krafton, Kelsie M.
  • Clayton, Geoffrey C.
  • Montiel, E.
  • Wesson, R.
  • Sugerman, Ben E. K.
  • Barlow, M. J.
  • Matsuura, M.
  • Drass, H.
Publication Date
Sep 21, 2015
Submission Date
Sep 21, 2015
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw164
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SN 2011ja was a bright (I = -18.3) Type II supernova occurring in the nearby edge on spiral galaxy NGC 4945. Flat-topped and multi-peaked H-alpha and H-beta spectral emission lines appear between 64 - 84 days post-explosion, indicating interaction with a disc-like circumstellar medium inclined 30-45 degrees from edge-on. After day 84 an increase in the H- and K-band flux along with heavy attenuation of the red wing of the emission lines are strong indications of early dust formation, likely located in the cool dense shell created between the forward shock of the SN ejecta and the reverse shock created as the ejecta plows into the existing CSM. Radiative transfer modeling reveals both ~1.5 x 10^-4 Msun of pre-existing dust located ~ 10^16.7 cm away and ~ 5 x 10^-5 Msun of newly formed dust. Spectral observations after 1.5 years reveal the possibility that the fading SN is located within a young (3-6 Myr) massive stellar cluster, which when combined with tentative 56Ni mass estimates of 0.2 Msun may indicate a massive (> 25 Msun) progenitor for SN 2011ja.

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